a big agnes copper spur UL3 tent with hiking boots in front

15 Brilliant Camping Hacks for the Savvy Adventurer

Camping offers a fun and amazing way to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. To maximize your outdoor experience, here are fifteen clever camping hacks that ensure comfort, convenience, and efficiency at your campsite.

Foam Floor Tiles for Comfort

A picture of an orange tent with a fire in the foregroun.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Lay interlocking foam floor tiles inside your tent for a makeshift “carpet.” This provides a softer surface to walk and sleep on and adds an insulating layer between you and the cold, hard ground, which can make a significant difference in cooler weather.

Silica Gel Packs for Moisture

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Pack silica gel packets (the kind you find in new shoes or electronics packaging) in containers with cookware, electronics, or clothing to absorb excess moisture. This can help prevent rust on metal cookware and keep electronics and clothes dry in damp conditions.

Microfiber Towels

Fairy Falls is a small, cascading waterfall. Here there are leaves on the ground and the photo is a long exposure, showing a dreamy like view.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Opt for microfiber towels because they are lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack. Their super absorbent nature allows them to soak up large amounts of water and dry quickly, preventing them from becoming mildewy in humid or damp environments.

Tic-Tac Spice Containers

a female stands in a camper van making food
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Clean and dry empty Tic-Tac boxes and fill them with your favorite spices. These boxes are perfect for portion control and prevent you from having to carry larger, bulkier spice containers.

Sage as a Mosquito Repellent

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Place sage leaves in your campfire or on hot coals to release smoke that naturally repels mosquitoes. This chemical-free alternative to commercial repellents is inexpensive and adds a pleasant smell to your campfire.

DIY Lantern

two tents are lit up in the snow
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Secure a headlamp around a translucent water jug with the light facing into the jug. The light will diffuse through the water, creating a lantern that provides soft, ambient lighting perfect for inside a tent or around a picnic table.

Duct Tape Emergency Kit

A hiker wearing yellow stands on an edge with a blue lake behind him and granite peaks past that.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Wrap several layers of duct tape around a water bottle or a flashlight handle. This keeps a handy amount of tape available for emergency repairs, like fixing torn tents, patching holes in sleeping bags, or even as a makeshift bandage in a pinch.

Pre-Scrambled Eggs

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

This camping hack is great for keeping the mess to a minimum. Beat eggs at home and pour them into a plastic bottle or a tightly sealed container. This method makes transporting eggs to the campsite easier and cleaner, and you can pour out exactly what you need for cooking, reducing waste.

Corn Chips for Kindling

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Fatty corn chips are an effective and quick-fire starter. Their oil content makes them burn quickly, especially useful for lighting campfires when traditional kindling is damp or sparse. This is one of those dual-use camping hacks because if you don’t need them, you can eat them!

Soap Lanyard

a campervan at the skatafell campground in iceland
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Another camping hack is to cut a section of pantyhose, insert a bar of soap, and tie a knot. Attach a lanyard or a rope to create a hanging soap pouch. This can be hung near your campsite’s water source for convenient and clean handwashing.

Pre-made Pancake Mix

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Mix your pancake batter at home and pour it into old, cleaned ketchup bottles or similar squeeze containers. This allows for easy and mess-free pancake making at the campsite with minimal cleanup.

Instant Coffee Packs

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Bring along individual instant coffee packets or sachets. These are very lightweight and require only hot water, making them ideal for a quick and hassle-free coffee solution early in the morning or after a long hike.

Portable Solar Charger

Photo Credit: Austin Sills-Trausch

Invest in a good-quality portable solar charger for your gadgets. This device will harness solar power throughout the day, allowing you to recharge phones, GPS devices, or cameras without relying on a vehicle’s battery or an external power source.

Freeze Water Bottles

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Freeze drinking water in plastic bottles instead of ice in your cooler. This method keeps your food cold and provides additional drinking water as it melts, which is practical and eco-friendly.

Match Jar with Sandpaper Lid

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Store strike-anywhere matches in a small, waterproof jar (like an old pill bottle) and glue a piece of sandpaper to the inside of the lid. This setup ensures you always have a dry, reliable striking surface for your matches, which is crucial for starting fires in wet conditions.

Camping Hacks Final Thoughts

a tent sits under trees in the forest
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch/ @Alecoutside

If you’ve never used these camping hacks before, test them out beforehand to see how they work, how you like them, and how they fit into your camping experience!

Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside